Why getting juicy could boost your health
Doing a liquid cleanse is no longer reserved for the spiritually elite or those wanting a quick fix weight-loss diet. Periodically saying goodbye to solid foods in the name of health and detoxification has gained considerable popularity in recent times. Fit examines the what, why and how of liquid cleansing.
What does it involve?
As the name suggests, a liquid cleanse means consuming only liquids (water, herbal teas, tonics, juices, smoothies, etc) for a particular amount of time. There is great room for flexibility in this framework; some people may only drink juices, whilst others prefer smoothies with the fibre, or a mix of. It could be for 24 hours for a beginner, or 30 days for very experienced cleansers. Some have liquids until dinner, or simply liquid fast for one day each week. A popular option that many companies offer now is three consecutive days of plant filled liquid goodness with about 6 varied beverages to be consumed each day.
What are the benefits?
Many people may be looking to do a liquid detox with the aim to drop some weight fast, however Naturopath Kristen Shanks who founded Vogue-coveted cleanse company Orchard Street, suggest instead viewing a cleanse as ‘an opportunity to experience health and vitality, with a good dollop of radiance and a healthy glow on the side!’. Indeed, if you need to lose weight this will usually come hand in hand with detoxifying your body, however the true benefits of following a liquid diet are much greater than that. ‘A cleanse is an opportunity to experience health and vitality, with a good dollop of radiance and a healthy glow on the side!’ Kristen Shanks.
On a juice or plant based liquid cleanse you can expect to be consuming about 7 kilograms of fruit and vegetables. In a liquidised state, the nutrients are easily digested, absorbed and utilised by the body. While you might wonder how can you can get enough nutrition from juice alone, its likely that a liquid cleanse will deliver you superior nutritional value to a regular diet when followed for a short time. Furthermore, the current cleansing craze promotes “feasting” rather than “fasting,” and it is advised to consume large quantities of liquids. You will be surprised how filling a properly planned liquid cleanse is.
The digestive system also benefits from liquid cleansing as it allows it to have a well-deserved rest and repair, since it does not have to be constantly digesting food. Simultaneously it can use this opportunity to rid the body of accumulated fluids and toxins. This in turn is fantastic for your liver, skin and every gorgeous cell in you have. Many detoxers report feeling energised, relaxed, having improved sleep, a flat stomach free of bloating, and a glowing complexion.
‘You feel really good after a three-day cleanse,’ says juice cleanse company owner and passionate juice cleanser Katharina Azanza, “It’s like it takes you apart and puts you together again. It goes through the process of detoxification and re-building.’
What About Side Effects?
So it might be worth it, but that doesn’t mean doing a liquid detox is going to be a walk in the park. However, as the old saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy and this is very true when it comes to a cleanse. When consuming only liquids, you may expect to experience a one or more of a variety of unpleasant side effects. This is simply the process of your body moving the toxins through to be eliminated, which can result in headaches, irritability, nausea, fatigue and skin aggravations. Push through the difficulties and as Orchard Street so beautifully puts it, ‘you’ll be basking on bliss island in no time!’
Is a liquid detox for me?
Some warn against it, such as Tracy Anderson, celebrity trainer to stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow. According to her, ‘Juice detoxes are the worst thing that ever became commercialised. They’re horrific for people’s health. They crash people’s metabolic rate.’ Contrary to such opinions, evidence continually emerges that supports the positive power of liquid cleanses. For Joe Cross of famed documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2010), it completely changed his life for the better – or arguably even saved it! In a state of detrimental health and full of medications, Joe vowed to drink only fruit and vegetable juices under the care of Dr. Fuhrman for 60 days in a bid to reclaim his health, which is exactly what he did with amazing results. As for the argument that liquid cleansing will slow the metabolism, in actual fact removing toxins from the body via a detox is likely to have a positive impact on helping metabolic processes to run at an optimum level.
If you feel like you need to give your health a boost, then a liquid detox could be for you. It’s a great tool to use for kick-starting a healthy lifestyle change as benefits are often felt after only a day. Removing toxins is also important if you are trying to lose weight in the long term as toxins are often stored in fat cells, making the body less likely to want to use them as a self protection mechanism, so it is best to help the body remove the bad stuff from them first.
However, there are certain times when a liquid cleanse is not a good option, such as for those suffering specific medical conditions, pregnant or breast feeding, under 16 years of age, those who have a history of eating disorders, those on prescription medications, those with blood sugar imbalances and more. Bondi Beauty recommends that it is always a good idea to check with your health care professional before embarking on a liquid cleanse.